Kerala

Quick action to mend potholes

Facing flak for shoddy upkeep of roads to prevent potholes, the Public Works Department (PWD) is readying a plan to encourage contractors to procure mobile pothole-filling machines.

“This is part of the efforts to do preventive maintenance, in keeping with the adage a stitch in time saves nine,” says an official.

“Such a mobile unit procured by the PWD a few years ago is now lying in a dilapidated condition in Thiruvananthapuram for want of upkeep. It is best that such jobs are entrusted to contractors in each district. Under the plan, contractors will be encouraged to procure such units to attend to potholes to avoid procedural delays in road repairs.”

“The PWD will train contractors on modern methods of road maintenance. This will lessen the time taken to restore roads and prevent potholes from becoming bigger when there is delay in patch work,” he says.

Running contract

“This will be apart from the one-year running contract system, which got administrative sanction recently. The contractor will thus have to do preventive maintenance and regular upkeep of the road that is handed over to him. Upkeep of drains and other road infra too will be covered in the running contract,” the official says.

Roads which are fully resurfaced will continue to be covered under defect-liability period – the period for which the contractor who did the black-topping will have to maintain the road.

Referring to Minister for Public Works P.A. Mohamed Riyas’s statement that the Kerala Water Authority would have to fully restore roads that it trenches for laying or repairing pipelines, PWD sources say the KWA and other agencies are hitherto given two options — they must fully restore the stretch or deposit money in advance, using which the PWD would execute the work.

Fed up with complaints about the KWA, Kerala State Electricity Board, and others failing to adhere to the options, the PWD had decided to insist on the agency trenching a road to do the complete restoration work, they say.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:37:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/quick-action-to-mend-potholes/article37711115.ece

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